Types of patio door locks

When you apply for a home insurance policy, insurers ask what lock types you have on your home's outside doors or patio windows.

In some cases, having a greater level of security could mean you get a discount off your normal insurance costs.

On the flip side, not having the right patio door locks could result in you needing to pay more to insure your home.

Don’t forget that having the best locks is just the start – you also need to make sure you use them. If you're burgled and your property wasn’t properly locked you may not be able to make a home insurance claim.

A patio opens onto a garden 

This article contains affiliate links. If you buy any products via these links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you. 


Why do I need to know what type of patio door lock I have? 

During your home insurance application, you should be asked what kind of locks you have on your sliding patio doors.

This helps insurance providers assess your property’s security levels.

Let’s take a look at how you spot each of the different patio door lock types.


What type of patio door locks are there?

There are 3 main types of patio door lock. If you don’t have any of these, choose 'other lock type' when you get a quote – and consider upgrading your home security.


Central rail key-operated lock

This is a multi-point locking system that's fitted to the central rail where the doors overlap. It’s got a long, slim lock fitting.

A central rail key-operated lock offers greater security than basic locks and could give you a discount on the cost of your home insurance.

  • Secures the door at multiple points 
  • Not as secure as a key operated multi-point locking system

Key-operated multi-point locking system

This is a rim-locking system that bolts the patio door into the frame at multiple points. With 1 turn of the key all points should lock simultaneously. It offers an even higher level of security than central rail key-operated locks. 

  • With up to 5 locking points it’s harder for intruders to force the door
  • Only needs 1 key cylinder
  • Cylinders easy to upgrade or change 
  • To properly secure the door, the handle must be raised and double locked

The process might be fiddly for those who are unfamiliar with the door and its locking mechanism. Most new patio door suppliers include either of these locks with their products as standard. In addition to cheaper home insurance these secure locks should also give you greater peace of mind.

Check prices for multi-point locking systems on Amazon

Top and bottom key-operated lock

This is the most basic type of patio door lock. As the name suggests, you should notice these locks because they bolt into the top and bottom of the frame.

These locks aren’t as secure as central rail operated locks and key-operated multi-point locking systems. So they’re unlikely to get you a discount on your home insurance. If you have these types of locks, it’s worth considering an upgrade to boost your security. 

  • Tends to be a cheaper option than the more robust patio door locks 
  • The door is likely to be weaker in the middle, leaving it vulnerable to a break in
Check prices for top and bottom key-operated locks on Amazon

How to replace patio door locks

You might want to have a crack at replacing a sliding patio door lock yourself to help save money.

Before you get stuck in, check you have the right manufacturer and model.

According to eHow, to replace the lock, it involves unscrewing the interior and exterior side of the patio door. Then, you'd just need to screw the new lock into the door jamb.

You might decide it's better to get a professional locksmith to help. If you choose to go down that route, the Master Locksmiths Association said the cost to replace a patio door lock can start from £90.


What else can I do to reduce my home insurance costs?

Having robust locks on your doors and windows can make your home more secure. And having a secure house could mean cheaper insurance costs.

But if you're still looking for more ways to bring the price down, here are a few tips:

Compare home insurance quotes

For more information, check out our guide on how to cut your home insurance costs.